The official launch of the Climate-Smart Communities Initiative
In a world increasingly affected by the impacts of climate change, the need for resilient communities has never been greater. To address this pressing issue, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has launched the Climate-Smart Communities Initiative (CSCI). This groundbreaking initiative establishes a public-private partnership among the NOAA-led U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit and private sector adaptation specialists, aiming to pave the way for a more climate-resilient nation.
The Consortium of Climate Adaptation Experts
In 2022, the NOAA Climate Program Office solicited proposals from entities interested in driving this initiative. The selected consortium is led by the Climate Resilience Fund and includes the Geos Institute, Fernleaf, EcoAdapt, and ICF. Our mission: to co-develop equitable climate resilience plans in collaboration with local governments and organizations over the next four years.
Leveraging philanthropic, federal, and other resources, the Climate Resilience Fund has a record of bringing together adaptation professionals to address shared challenges. Importantly, the team of partner organizations includes some of the nation’s leading experts on adaptation and resilience: they have managed the Climate Adaptation Knowledge Exchange, organized the National Adaptation Forum, supported the US Global Change Research Program, and assisted climate practitioners with the knowledge and tools through facilitated workshops and targeted financial support. Collectively, the team has expertise in bringing climate information to bear on national, regional, and local-level resilience planning, having extensive experience in co-developing climate adaptation plans with local communities.
Prioritizing Vulnerable Communities
The CSCI team will focus on prioritizing FEMA’s Community Disaster Resilience Zones in their selection process. These zones are characterized by high risk and underserved populations, making them the frontlines in the battle against climate change impacts. By focusing efforts here, CSCI aims to protect the people, property, infrastructure, and natural resources at risk from cascading climate-related and non-climate hazards. For more information, learn more about the CDRZ designation.
White House Support
The funding for CSCI comes through the Biden Administration’s Investing in America agenda under the Inflation Reduction Act. In addition, the White House officially endorsed the Climate-Smart Communities Initiative, including it in the White House Summit on Building Climate Resilient Communities.
The Climate-Smart Communities Initiative is a beacon of hope in the face of climate change. By fostering public-private collaboration, prioritizing vulnerable communities, and leveraging the expertise of organizations like the Geos Institute, CSCI paves the way for a more resilient and sustainable future.
To get involved and stay informed, visit www.climateresiliencefund.org/csci.
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